Medical problems and recreational scuba diving
Let us start by saying that you don’t need to be a triathlon athlete to be able to go scuba diving. Children as young as 10 years can obtain their PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification. Nonetheless scuba diving is a sport that definitely requires good health. Some of you need to be extra vigilant, as there are a few conditions that will require an evaluation by a doctor before you can go diving. Here is a list of the most prominent health issues that should be taken into consideration before planning your scuba vacation.
Scuba Diving with asthma
In general asthmatics should not go diving if their asthma is uncontrolled. Asthma causes constriction of the airway which makes it hard to breath and you won’t be able to use your inhaler underwater, right? People who suffer from chronic or daily asthma symptoms should not dive. However, if symptoms are mild, it is possible to get a clearance from your doctor to show that you’re good to go scuba diving.
Scuba Diving with diabetes
Diabetes is another health issue that could limit your scuba diving options while diving in Bali. Diabetes is a health condition in which your body does not make insulin, or use the insulin you do make normally, depending on the type of diabetes you have. Scuba diving can become risky if you were to have a too low or too high blood sugar underwater. If you have frequent low blood sugar, or if your blood sugar is consistently high you shouldn’t dive. If your diabetes is well controlled it’s possible to go diving, just have a visit with your doctor to develop a plan.
Scuba diving with heart disease
Heart disease is associated with a variety of health conditions. When a person has gone through a heart surgery or a heart attack, it is recommended for them to wait for at least 6 months before going scuba diving. Your fitness level will need to be tested and approval from your Cardiologist given before diving. High blood pressure is a very common health issue that increases your risk for a stroke and heart attack. If your blood pressure is well controlled on your medications and diet, you should be fine to go diving. However, if your blood pressure is not controlled you should work with your doctor to get it under control before you go. If you have any history of heart disease that has required you to see a doctor/cardiologist, see them and get an evaluation before you plan your diving vacation.
Scuba diving with Pneumothorax
The health of your lungs is an important factor to consider when diving. Pneumothorax is a collapsed lung. This can happen to a person for a variety of reasons, including trauma. Sometimes it can happen spontaneously for a reason we don’t know. Your doctor will need to evaluate the cause of the pneumothorax and if you are completely healed, it might be possible to go diving.
This is just a very short list of health conditions that are quite common. It’s not an exhaustive list of every medical condition that could prevent you from diving. If you have a chronic illness, it is strongly recommended to see a doctor prior to your vacation to get a medical statement and approval for scuba diving.
Safety is our number one priority. That is why prior to any diving, every guest, who comes to our PADI dive resort in Padangbai, is asked to fill in a medical questionnaire and to discuss any health related concerns they might have. Scuba diving is a wonderful hobby. It should however be your priority too to want to make sure you will enjoy it properly and without risking your health.
You might also be interested in reading:
- Scuba diving during period
- What is a Nitrogen narcosis
- Short term scuba diving insurance